Dvar Torah

Parashat Ach’rei Mot-K’doshim
[2 Parashot again this week]
There are many Mitzvot in this week’s 2 Parashot. Amongst the many Mitzvot is the Mitzva of “Hochaiach Tochiach et ametecha” – rebuke your friend! We are obligated by the Torah to rebuke our friend if/when we see them transgressing the Torah! The famous k’tav Sofer [son of the famous Hatam Sofer] says that this is the the most difficult Mitzva! Wow! We might have thought honoring our parents, especially after they became elderly and challenging to care for, or perhaps keeping Shabbat.. Why does Ktav Sofer consider this Mitzva so difficult? You just say something like “hey bro/sis you goofed up. You better shape up or G-d is gonna punish you…” !?
The reason it is so difficult to fulfill this Mitzva is; because we have to do it correctly. We don’t want it to backfire etc. Sometimes it may even be more beneficial to “hold on to it” and say nothing at all!
Of course, as parents, teachers/Rabbis we must rebuke, but even as parents, teachers, and Rabbis etc. we really must be cautious when rebuking.
A story is told about the great Torah giant/leader, the famed Chofetz Chaim 1838-1933, who once visited a certain inn when traveling. He witnessed a shocking scene. A man burst into the inn and demanded a fried goose and a bottle of wine to go with it. He barked his order to the innkeeper and was rude to the other wayfarers. He gobbled down the fried goose and guzzled his wine with poor table manners and NO BRACHA!
The Chofetz Chaim was astounded. He was about to walk over to the man and rebuke him, when the innkeeper stopped him. The innkeeper said, “wait, let me tell you a little about this man”.
He was a “Cantonist”. a young child stolen from his family and his people at the tender young age of 7 or 8 years old to be drafted into the Czar’s army. His training was coarse peasants. Many Jewish children who were drafted were coerced to convert to Christianity, and totally left the beautiful Jewish faith. This man, explained the innkeeper to the Chofetz Chaim, although poor mannered and oblivious to Mitzvot and Torah, was adamant about staying Jewish!
When the Chofetz Chaim heard this man’s background, he went over to him and exclaimed “I envy your portion in the world to come-Olam Haba, after all that you went through you kept your faith and didn’t succumb to the pressure to convert to christianity! Wow! Your nisayoni-test was greater than that of Chananya Mishael and Azariya, who were thrown into a fiery furnace when refusing to give up their Jewish faith as opposed to worshipping idols”.
When this boorish man heard the sincere and soft spoken words of the Chofetz Chaim, he broke down crying. From that moment on he became very attached to the Holy Chofetz Chaim and became a complete Chozer Bitshuva- he became a totally religious Jew!
Every person has at least one positive attribute. Let’s focus on that one attribute. By doing so we will probably be more successful then if we focus on a negative attribute.

This is what happens when we rebuke properly. May Hashem help us rebuke ourselves and those who we are influential upon, properly, so that the rebuke can be beneficial.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Y. S. Kuritsky

Special Announcement

Happy Birthday to:

  • Mia Portman
  • Dalia Volfson
  • Yosef Jehuda

Programming News

This week in programming …..
All the students are counting the omer on the beautiful charts we gave them. We are almost reaching lag baomer, which is next Friday and a special surprise is awaiting all students on that special day .

Congratulations to Daniella from second grade and Lilah from 4B upon winning this months “act of kindness “ contest by doing so many special mitzvot.
We are so proud of both of you!!

Thanks , Miss.Weitzner and Miss.Dershowitz


Kindergarten and First Grade
This week we continued on learning about the mitzvah of kibud av veim. We know saying thank you to our parents for everything they do for is another part of kibud av veim. We made beautiful thank you Daddy and Mommy flower pots that we can’t wait to share! So many of the children in our class brought in Kibud Av Veim mitzvah notes this week and we enjoyed reading them in class. Morah is so proud of how everyone is working on doing this mitzvah!

As we discussed kibud av veim we turned to discussing other peoplewhoit is a mitzvah and important to help. These specific people love us, take care of us, daven for us, and lots of times buy us surprises and presents! You guessed it our grandparents! We know how important it is to be respectful to our grandparents, to say thank you, and to help them out. One way we can honor our grandparents is by sending them cards or presents, just like we did in class. Another way is to call them. They love hearing from us! We had so much fun calling Morah’s Grandma, who she calls BubbyJ! So many of the children shared that they call their grandparents to wish them Shabbat Shalom and to tell them about their week. Morah is so proud of how well the children are honoring their grandparents!

This week we also learnt about Pirkei Avot. Pirkei Avot is a special part of the mishnayos, a part of theTorah. That there is a special practice to read on the Shabbatot between Pesach and Rosh Hashana. This week we learnt about introductory and ending phrases of Pirkei Avot which tell us that every single Jewish person has a special section in the world to come. This gives us incredible faith in ourself to do a lot and acquire mitzvot for the world to come. In fact this is the whole reason that Hashem gave us mitzvot, in order for us to gain reward in the world to come. We discussed how even if we took all the good in the world and put it in the biggest treasure chest, the reward Hashem gives a person, in the world to come, for doing one mitzvah is even more than all that treasure. For one amen, one bracha, one kind act we get treasures of reward for our souls in the world to come. Morah told us an amazing story about a poor man who went to a far away island where there were jewels everywhere. However, on that island what valuable was chicken fat. So the man focused on making chicken fat. When it was time to come home he forgot all about the jewels and brought home tons of chicken fat. When his family met him they asked where all the riches were, all he had was chicken fat and a few small diamonds in his pocket. This story teaches us a lesson, we are like the poor man on the island, we have a chance to get tons of jewels, the mitzvot! We do not want to get distracted with silly things , or doing aveirot, like the chicken fat!

Second Grade
We had a super busy week in 2nd grade as we spent time practicing our reading skills and reviewing some of the exception rules in the Hebrew language. This week on Shabbat there is a double portion Torah Reading. We read Parshat Acharei Moit and Kedoshim. We learned about the service performed by the High Priest-Kohain Gadol on Yom Kippur in the Holy of Holies. Today since we do not have the Holy Temple we use prayer as our means of communication with Hashem. In Parshat Kedoshim we learned many Jewish laws such as: Honoring Parents, respecting elders, not taking revenge and loving our friends. Shabbat Shalom

Third Grade
Our third graders are mastering their Kriah skills and are eager to complete their reading program.
The Dikduk and shorashim lessons are challenging and fun at the same time. We had our first shorashim test this week.
We also learnt the amazing and inspiring story of Rabbi Akiva. We learned many lessons from him, especially to Love our fellow Jews no matter what.
In Parsha we learned the important Mitzva of Kibbud Av Va’em- respecting parents- amongst other Mitzvot.
Shabbat Shalom
Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade
This week we continued learning in depth the story of our great Sage Rabbi Akiva.
We added on many new Shorashim to our shorashim ring, and we are catching along real quick! We also added on in Yediot Klalliot sefer Vayikra. The children now can sing all 12 parshiot in berieshit, 11 in shmot, and now can sing 10 from vaykra! our goal is to know all of the parshiot in the Torah. This week we even began learning inside the very first pasuk in the very first perek of sefer bereishit ! what an unbelievable mile stone!
Last but not least, we are practicing practicing and practicing some more for our major chumash mesiba on May 12th bezrat Hashem

Shabbat Shalom,
Mrs. Bistritz

Compliments to us, Miss Yelena, our music teacher, was so super impressed by the sweet sounds of the Davening coming from our classroom. We are working with her in excited anticipation for our upcoming Chumash play! We spoke all about Rabbi Akiva, who was a great Torah leader, as we practiced a song about him. We will also sing about a parable that he taught. The topic of Rabbi Akiva is always a good topic to discuss, but especially now during Sefirah when we are mourning the loss of 24,000 of his students who passed away as a result of not treating each other with proper respect. What was Yom Kippur like in the Beit Hamikdah back in the day? We enjoyed discussing that too, as it came up in this week’s Parshah, Parahat Acharei Mot. A passionate discussion broke out one day about how it is Hashem who created everything that exists, even the items which seem “man—made”.

Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Toba

5th and 6th Girls
Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week!
We really enjoyed learning all about the 2nd blessing of Shemoneh Esrei – Gevurah, talking about the strength of Hashem.
G-d not only has every power in the world, life, rebirth, rain, freeing prisoners, healing the sick, supporting those in difficult times, bringing back to life; but He is also our father who loves us and cares about us more than we can imagine! Can we even imagine how lucky we are??
We continued on in Chumash, learning about the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt. We even began to learn Rashi, a great commentary on the Torah from around one thousand years ago.
I’m so proud of all the girls! They are working hard on the Mitzvah Presentation/Project which they will be presenting on Tuesday. Keep up the great work? Looking forward to seeing them all!
A round of applause to Gabby Fishman and Eva who presented the Berachot that we make on food today!! They were amazing and we really got to an understanding of how important it is to make blessings on our food.
Have a wonderful Shabbat and a relaxing enjoyable weekend!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys
Dear Parents,
In light of the Holiday of Shavuot that is coming up, we have begun 2 new Topics.
We are learning the story of the giving of the Torah from the Chumash, with the commentary of Rashi and others.
We have also began to explore different Mitzvot in depth in order to gain a deeper appreciation of some of our priceless treasures.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Levy

7th and 8th Girls
The Mitzvot introduced in this week’s Parshah, Parshat Kedoshim, really came alive with the really well-done skits the girls’ made to break them out. By now we can almost read the mind of Rashi, whose interpretations of Chumash continue to enlighten us as we learn. We had a Chumash- Bee to test our general Chumash knowledge, congrats to Eliana Volfson upon being the winner. We continue to count the Omer in anticipation for Shavuot….

Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Toba

7th and 8th Boys
This week we had our weekly Parsha test. We read and were tested on the story of Rabbi Akiva and his devoted wife Rachel. The reason that we focused on the story of Rabbi Akiva now is because, during these y’may s’fira-days of counting the Omer, Rabbi Akiva lost 24,000 students! We mourn for them by ; not taking haircuts/shaving our face, not listening to music or attending weddings. We also continued learning our Gmara lesson about identifying a dead husband so that his “widow” can remarry.
The boys are once again, proudly wearing their Talit and Tfilin during Davening. We also discussed the 7 species that are special to Eretz Yisroel.

Elementary School

This week kindergarten practiced reading and spelling words with r blends. They independently wrote their own how to. They picked unique writing topics such as how to ride a bike, how to play soccer, and even how to take care of a unicorn! They learned how to identify the author’s purpose of nonfiction stories. In math they had a lot of fun playing games to figure out which ordinal numbers and positional words they can use to correctly describe which place their friend’s toys were in. They made a race track with animals and labeled their animals with ordinal numbers to show which one was winning the race. In science they learned about Earth Day, how to take care of the Earth, and what could happen if they do not take care of the Earth. They made really cool marble paintings of the Earth and they made Earth people. Then, they attached to their paintings a sentence about how they would help the Earth. In social studies they learned about the Liberty Bell, the Bald Eagle, and why they are symbols of the United States.

First Grade
In first grade we learned about safety rules in the story of “Officer Buckle and Gloria.” Students explored the day sky making predictions about their shadows in Science. We also wrote stories using quantity adjectives in Language Arts.

In Social Studies, we discussed how transportation and communication has been effected by technology. Students were surprised to learn that scientists are currently exploring the planet Mars. When asked what inventions they might imagine, students were excited about the possibility of flying cars and instant ice-cream machines. I believe these first graders can do just about anything!

Second Grade
This week, in math, the second graders have been learning about fractions. In ELA, the students have been working with adverbs and have been hard at work finishing their research reports. In social studies, the second graders are finishing up their unit on America’s Past with discussions about The American Revolution. Ms. Bronstein would like to commend Lielle Garber and Daniella Usubov for being such avid readers!

In science, students learned and discussed physical properties of matter.

Third Grade
This week Grade 3 students continued to develop their problem solving skills using all four operations. They also began to work on identifying elapsed time using number lines and solving multiplication equations vertically. During their Grammar lessons, students practiced combining sentences with the same subjects. During their Social Studies lessons, students began to learn about the early American communities. They explored the Navajo tribe, while also comparing it to the Aztecs we had previously learned about. During their Reading lessons, students dove into the adventures and misadventures James had come across in our class novel. While reading, they were able to locate many examples of imagery, personification, and onomatopoeia. This week they were also introduced to similes, so now they are hunting for this literary device too.

In science, students learned what makes up the atmosphere and the importance of it.
Students enjoyed labeling and forming layers of the atmosphere during art lessons.

Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we continued to work in our Geometry unit. Measuring angles with protractor, identifying angles and shapes.
In ELA we completed our state test and will continue with our regular ELA curriculum.
In Social Studies we review chapter 9 Exploring the West as we will have a test on Monday.

In science, students learned and understood that matter is made up of tiny particles. Describe three states of matter.

4B took their ELA state test this week! In math, we are having our test on decimals. Now that the ELA state test is behind us, we can buckle down and focus on math state test review!
In science, students learned and recognized how stars can be classified according to their size, color, temperature and age. They had fun hanging their planets on a hanger and forming the Solar System.

Fifth Grade

Greeting and Salutation!
In ELA students learned more about adverbs. They also learned about negatives. Lastly, they practiced using quotations by writing dialogue between characters.
The students also finished their novel, Moon Over Manifest. I am looking forward to the essays the 5th grade will write next week!

In Social Studies, we finished learning about the mighty Inca civilization. Students were amazed at the rope bridges the Inca used to make and at their vast wealth.

In math, 5th grade learned about unit rate, how to calculate unit price and compare items and find the better deal.

In science, students finished chapter 1: “Matter and its properties”. During this week students worked in groups performing a mini-lab: “Mixtures and Solutions”.Using different methods they were able to separate different mixtures.

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

6th grade
Sixth graders had a busy week! In grammar, we started learning about verbals. We identified them in sentences, and wrote beautiful sentences of our own. In writing, this week has been all about evaluating arguments. We read arguments and discussed if the author did a good job supporting their claims. In reading, we continued our novel study of Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli.

In social studies, students continued their unit on Ancient Greece. This week they learned all about Sparta and Athens!

7th grade
The seventh graders took their ELA state test! Everyone worked very hard – good job! We will continue our regular curriculum on Monday. We did continue to read Chasing Lincoln’s Killer!

In social studies, this week we began our build up to the Civil War by discussing the differences between the North and the South. We also learned about the Atlantic Slave Trade and the effects it had on the three continents involved.

8th grade

8th graders had a busy week! In reading, we started our novel study of Animal Farm. Students did a great job reading the story as an allegory, and matching historic figures to animal representations. In writing, this week was all about supporting our claims with textual evidence, and reading nonfiction texts. Students did a great job!

In social studies, students made a timeline of events during the Great Depression. We wrapped up our unit on the Great Depression with a test. Students did a good job!

Middle School Math

6th grade learned how to write equations from tables and word problems.

7th grade is preparing for the state test.

8th grade learned how to graph linear inequalities.

8th grade honors reviewed chapters 1 to 6 and practiced regents questions.

Middle School Science

6th Grade
Students had a blast performing a lab about “Mixtures and Solutions”. Students worked as a team during the experiment. A lab report was assigned describing scientific methods.

7th Grade
As a part of our student’s academic journey through the human body and how the body maintains the state of balance through homeostasis; students will be investigating how nutrients actually get into our cells to give our body what it needs to undergo life processes. Students will be investigating through video, readings and by creating a story wherein they take the position of a piece of food as it travels through, the quite amazing digestive system and all of its organs. Students will learn the difference between mechanical and chemical digestion, the various organs of the digestive system and their function, what is needed to begin the digestive process and what our food is made up of and how it breaks down to get into our cells. They will be able to explain the role that carbohydrates, proteins and lipids have in the body.

8th Grade

Energy flows and matter cycles among organisms, and between organisms and their environment, creating interconnected systems. In this unit, students learn about the biotic and abiotic factors in a river ecosystem, using the Hudson River as a case study. They then investigate the impact of an invasive species (zebra mussels) on this ecosystem, using teaching case materials created by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History. Students then make hypotheses about how the presence of zebra mussels might affect specific biotic or abiotic factors. Finally, using data collected by the Cary Institute, students write scientific explanations confirming or rejecting their hypotheses, thus building an understanding of the role of data and collaboration in the scientific community.